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From Reto Gmür <r...@wymiwyg.com>
Subject Re: on consensus, and serenity
Date Thu, 13 Aug 2015 06:54:59 GMT
On Wed, Aug 12, 2015 at 11:40 PM, William A Rowe Jr <wrowe@rowe-clan.net>

> On Wed, Aug 12, 2015 at 9:31 AM, Reto Gmür <reto@apache.org> wrote:
>> On Wed, Aug 12, 2015 at 10:33 AM, Bertrand Delacretaz <
>> bdelacretaz@apache.org> wrote:
>>> On Tue, Aug 11, 2015 at 9:53 PM, Tim Williams <williamstw@gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>> > ...I'm curious how we can work ourselves out of this nagging cycle of
>>> > Larry encouraging us to be more liberal in our licenses because we
>>> > legally can and us responding with we don't want to even if we could
>>> > legally get away with it?...
>>> If the same question is asked over and over it becomes a Frequently
>>> Asked Question (obviously).
>>> The way we usually handle these is to document the question with its
>>> answer at a permanent URL, so that if people ask again we can point
>>> them to it.
>>> In this case I guess http://apache.org/legal/resolved.html might be a
>>> good place for this FAQ.
>> To allow "challenging the status quo, questioning policies, etc " and to
>> support having a debate a typical FAQ page isn't so helpful. As an interest
>> member I would like policy questions to be linked with to the respective
>> decision and discussion so that minority positions are also visible. As an
>> interested member I want to know if something is an unquestioned
>> interpretation of a principle in the bylaws, or a controversial
>> interpretation of an itself controversial policy adopted by a thin majority.
> Good point Reto,
> however, the legal-discuss list is for informing our understanding of both
> law and policy as it applies to ASF projects, or as it applies to consuming
> ASF projects. It certainly is not a good list for reshaping law or
> reshaping policy, although a synopsis or official ASF position statement
> from such discussions would belong here.
> I've pointed out that the community development list is one obvious place
> to advocate for a change in community (ASF-wide) policy, and determine if
> the change to policy is well received by the community-of-the-whole.  The
> members list is another.  There are even more bureaucratic means to
> accomplish policy change.  But this asked-and-answered game isn't serving
> any minority interest of advocating for new policy, because it's in the
> wrong context (the list purpose being ASF policy interpretation, not ASF
> policy creation), and because several "proposal" posts have introduced
> confusion between ASF policy and draft policy.  It also never helps the
> minority interest to refuse to respond to or acknowledge majority
> statements that are inconvenient to the minority argument.
> In short, I agree with you that an FAQ is no place for a policy debate,
> however ... there is no debate.  The policy stands until the policy makers
> (BoD or membership of the whole) changes that policy (or advises the VP,
> Legal to make such a change).
> If the legal-discuss list is re-purposed to its original purpose chartered
> by the first VP, Legal, then this list and it's attendant FAQ's resume
> serving the community to clarify questions based on law and policy, and
> other lists such as the community list development can serve the purpose of
> evolving the ASF's mission over time.

I agree that the FAQ is not in itself a place for debate. But I think it
could be a tool to facilitate the debates taking place elsewhere, it could
help distinguishing the more essential from the more accidental properties
of the ASF. I think Legal might help making more visible where the
decisions comes from. I'm imagining that on a specific authoritative
statement (e.g. FAQ answers) I have links leading to the
decision/discussion and 1-n links to the underlying principles upon which
the decision is based, recursively till I end at a decision of the
membership or the legal framework on which the foundation is based on.


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